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Originating from a $5 million donation from the famous John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and $2 million in contributions from residents of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains officially became a National Park in 1940. A popular location during the Great Depression, many U.S. citizens, along with the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps, helped create the park’s architecture including fire watchtowers and the many park trails.
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Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Visit
Offering a wide range of popular destinations, there are many places to visit within the Great Smoky Mountains. Learn about the park’s rich history, the people that used to live here or simply enjoy the great outdoors.
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History & Culture

History & Culture
Incredibly, people have inhabited the Great Smoky Mountains dating back to prehistoric times. Though, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that mountain settlers actually started hosting activities in the area like nature events.
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Nature & Science

Nature & Science
Quite possibly the most natural park on the entire East coast, the Great Smoky Mountains bring visitors through gorgeous forests, to the top of scenic mountains, and beautiful, rushing streams.
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